Saturday, July 24, 2010

Max Baer -vs- Tony “Two Ton” Galento 1940

Castle Films, Fight Thrills II, 16mm Sound

The Fight
The Max Baer vs Tony Galento fight is a classic document of pre-war Americana. In 1940, Max Baer and Tony Galento, the two most colorful boxers of their day, met for a title elimination showdown in Jersey City. It was a titanic slugfest. The fight began even before the opening bell as Galento threatened Baer during the referee’s instructions. The two went right to work in the first round, with Galento on the attack. By round 5, Baer is in full showbiz mode - fighting in flurries, while clowning and then trash talking Galento. After 7 rounds of bruising action, Baer is victorious when Galento cannot answer the bell for round 8. This was Max Baer's last victory.

The Movie
The film is noteworthy for several reasons. The fight was among the best filmed fights of the day. It was also among the first fight films produced as the interstate traffic of boxing films was lifted. For the first time since 1910, boxing films could be distributed across state lines and shown across the country. As a result, fight films became feature film productions, rather than simply newsreels.

The Video
This highlight of the Baer-Galento fight is taken from the Castle Films Fight Thrills series, and is a very clean 16mm print.

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